Tag Archives: Lamb and mutton

Lamb Stew

I’m a rustic cook, leaning towards the comfort foods of my Portuguese and Irish / Italian roots, all of which focus on simple flavor combinations and fresh ingredients.  Lamb is one of my favorite meats to stew when cut well, and as I missed my beloved St. Patrick’s Day (I was in Portugal working on a few pieces where the celebrations don’t really exist), I was ready to throw this together for my FoodBuzz Gluten-Free Puff Pastry Party.

This recipe – like all stew recipes – is endlessly adaptable.  I didn’t include some ingredients that my diners couldn’t eat, substituting with what was at hand, fresh and affordable.  Don’t be afraid to add in other herbs or veggies that tingle your tastebuds.  And for a bit more formal of a dish, serve in these teeny tiny puff pastries for a hearty appetizer or in a bread bowl for a twist on the classic New England.

Lamb Stew

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Serves 3 as a meal, or 12 appetizer portions

When making for puff pastries, make sure to chop / dice your ingredients to a smaller scale, about 1/2 inch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lamb in small stew pieces (fry with paper towels to make sure there’s no excess moisture)
  • 1 large red onion, chopped fine
  • 5 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 small carrots, chopped
  • 5 small Yukon gold or red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup dark red wine plus more to taste
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1/4 cup cider or white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • The most dynamic blend of peppercorns you have, to taste
  • 1/2 recipe gluten-free puff pastry

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°.

In a medium oven-friendly, heavy-bottomed pot (my Le Creuset 5 1/2 quart dutch oven is a kitchen VIP), heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic, and saute until soft, about 6 minutes. 

Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of meat with salt and pepper.  Add to pot, and brown on each side.  Turn heat to high, and add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then put into oven. 

Cook until the meat is tender and the vegetables are soft, 1-2 hours as desired (you can keep the stew in the oven and it will continue to cook slowly, tenderizing the meat even more). 

The stew tastes better the second day, when you can bring it up to heat and adjust flavors as desired.

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Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash with Lamb and Cranberries

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Lamb and Vegetables

For those of you who don’t know me very well, my food lifestyle and this blog started because of a lifetime of dealing with Lyme Disease and her related minions.  Since I was twelve I’ve had three serious flares of Lyme, which have resulted in severe joint and bone pain, muscle spasms, neurological waves of yuckiness (medical term) and scores of issues with food.

But I am very fortunate.  I have an incredible medical team, a supportive family, and health insurance through my family business (it’s practically impossible to get insurance outside of a business if you have a pre-existing condition).  And the intimate experiences I’ve had with my body have shaped my lifestyle and approach to wellness and food.  

This week I could feel the weather changing in my bones.  From a springy, energetic summer demeanor I’ve felt my body shifting into the Hunchback of Washington Heights.  Today, for the first time in a while, I had to medicate, and know the coming cold will make this a more regular occurrence.

But overall I still feel so far from where I’ve been before.  And that is a result of listening to my body, seeking out excellent medical advice and constantly nourishing my body with the goodness of positive things around me.

Enter this recipe.  I’d noticed I’ve been craving meat lately, suggesting that I may be slipping back into anemia.  The abundance of root vegetables and hearty leafy greens of the season is timed perfectly.  As is the new batch of Indonesian cinnamon I just picked up.  Along with the calming, inspiring affect I feel when working with food, a recipe like this provides so many nutrients to fortify us against the coming cold.

And it’s just plain tasty.  And not hard to make.

Many newer cooks can be intimidated by lamb – I know I once was.  But it’s one of my favorite meats to cook, and so deliciously versatile.  I find it takes the combo of sweet and savory that I so love better than pork or beef.  And it’s packed with iron.

Acorn squash is another of my favorite fall foods: along with simply roasting it, it’s the perfect nest for meaty and vegetarian dishes alike.  A favorite filling is tempeh stir-fried with quinoa, carrots and dried fruit.  Heck, even a Thanksgiving bread stuffing would taste divine.

But this one combines lamb, onions, carrots, cranberries, Brussels sprouts and sunflower seeds for warm, filling and dynamic results.

The recipe is endlessly adaptable.  Grab what you have leftover in the fridge or pantry, and have a blast.

Happy Autumn everyone!

Lamb, Carrots and Brussels Sprouts Inside Sweet Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses, regular molasses or pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup rocking awesome olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 lb lamb, cut into small cubes
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into small pieces
  • 6-8 Brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 2-inch ginger root
  • 1 tsp sharp cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • sunflower seeds or other chopped nuts to taste

Method:

  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • Place squash in a deep baking pan skin down.  Brush with molasses / maple syrup.
  • Place in heated oven and bake for 30 minutes while prepping lamb.
  • In a large skillet or cast iron pot, heat oil on low.
  • Add onions and garlic and cook on low until golden and soft.
  • Season lamb with salt and pepper and add to skillet, browning on all sides.
  • Add rosemary and toss to coat.
  • Remove lamb to plate.
  • Into the hot skillet drop cranberries and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add carrots, Brussels sprouts and cinnamon.  Grate ginger over the mixture and stir to combine.  Cook for about 8 minutes until the vegetables soften.
  • Add vinegar and toss to coat.
  • Turn off heat, return lamb to skillet and mix thoroughly to combine.
  • Remove squash from oven, fill evenly with lamb mixture.  Cover with tin foil.
  • Return to oven and cook an additional 30 minutes or until lamb just starts to brown on top.

Serve sprinkled with nuts and a drizzle of molasses and vinegar, if desired.

Makes four hearty servings.  Great as a main course with a salad or wilted greens on the side.

Beautiful to present at a special dinner, too!

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